Friday, November 30, 2012

DIY Homework Station

A few months ago I realized that I would not only have a first grader doing homework but I would also have a Kindergartener who needed a homework space too.  I wanted to create an area for my kids to do their homework without the distraction of the t.v. or toys.  I also really wanted to stop using our kitchen table as a desk!  I searched Pinterest to see what fabulous ideas other families had done.  Most of them were out of my budget and above my skill level but I knew I could come up with something...and I wanted it to be easy and cheap.  

Our house has a niche at the top of the stairs that I believe is supposed to have a built in desk.  Since I couldn't afford a real built in, I decided to make a faux built in instead.  

And here it is...

The double door cabinet is a computer desk we purchased from Cost Plus World Market about 8 years ago.  I found two $20 bookshelves at Target.  I placed the computer desk at the far right and the small bookshelves all the way to the left against the other wall of the niche.  My husband went to the lumber store and bought a big piece of MDF.  (Unfortunately he tore his bicep picking up this huge piece of wood....but that's a whole different story.  And one I'll never get to live down.)  After his trip to urgent care, my awesome (and injured) husband made two cuts on the MDF.  He cut the depth so that the top would slightly hang over the computer desk.  And he cut the length the exact length of the niche.  Then he just placed the MDF right on top of the computer desk and bookshelves.  It's wedged in between the walls really tightly too.

Here is a close up of the two bookshelves I picked up at Target (terrible photo, I know).  They were in the closet organizing section.

This is a shot showing the left side so you can see the niche.
Next, I took the kids to Michaels and let them pick out scrapbook paper that they liked.  They chose this greenish, blue paper because it has maps and birds on it.  I tore the paper into a bunch of strips and pieces and Mod Podged the pieces right on top of the MDF.  It's not exactly what I would have chosen but the kids like it and I wanted it to be a place they wanted to spend a lot of time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Pinterest Party!

 I'm sure you know by now that I am kind of in love with Pinterest!  I'm convinced it's one of the best things ever created!  Not only do I pin a ton of things....get this....I ACTUALLY do them!  Sure I pin things for my imaginary home that I will never be able to afford, awesome recipes I'm not qualified to make and my new exercise plan that will have me back to my pre-baby weight in just two weeks,  but I also pin things that I have every intention of doing.  And I do! 

I began pinning a bunch of adorable Christmas crafts and decided it would be fun to have some of my  Pinterest obsessed girlfriends come over and make them together.  I wanted to get us all in the holiday spirit so I got my mom on board and we planned a holiday Pinterest Party!

And here it is...

We asked each guest to bring an appetizer or dessert they saw on Pinterest.  I made cupcakes (using a baking technique I found on Pinterest) and I also made Potato Cheese Soup in the crock pot.  And yes, the recipe was from Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Too Stuffy For Me...Part 2!

My photo wall in my former living room/dining room...soon to be craft room/game room,  make over is complete and I love it!  

My original idea was to use canvas prints.  However, I quickly learned that I'd either have to win the lottery to afford that or I'd have to alter my plan a bit.  I chose to switch things up since there is no hope of me winning something I don't play.

Here's what I came up with!

It wasn't a difficult process but there is no way I could have done it without my husband's and dad's help (a huge thank you and 'I love you' to both of them).  I started off choosing photos I wanted to use.  I chose all photos that I'd taken rather than using professional pictures.  I want this entire space to feel casual and comfortable so I thought snapshots and home photos would be a good way to go.  I used old photos I'd taken with my DLSR as well as pictures from my iphone and Instagram.  I added filters to many of these photos so they'd be a little more artsy.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Birthday Filled With Memories

My dad's birthday is in November and he is so hard to shop for!  Seriously, it's near impossible to find the perfect gift for him.  I always feel bad because I end up getting him some kind of gift certificate to a restaurant or the movies.  Sure, he likes the gift certificate and he enjoys using it.  It just never seems special or personal.  This year I decided to check around on Pinterest (my favorite place) to see if I would be able to find something unique.  And boy did I ever!  Thanks to "Nothing But Bonfires" blog, I was able to give my dad a gift that I think he truly loved and was excited about.  

Check out the post I used for my inspiration...

And here it is!  My dad's gift!  It doesn't look like much, but it really is special.  This stack of envelopes contains letters and birthday wishes from every person my dad knows and has known over the years.  It has letters from acquaintances he only slightly knows to friends he's had for over 50 years...some of which he's lost contact with.  I sent a simple email (most of which was borrowed directly from Nothing But Bonfires) that stated my dad was having a birthday and I wanted everyone to write him a birthday wish or a special memory they have of him.   Here is the letter I emailed and posted to friends on Facebook.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Art & Owls Party...Part 2

So the first Art & Owls post showed the set up.  Now here are some action shots from the party!

When the guests arrived they headed to the backyard where they colored a mural.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Art & Owls Party...Part 1

My daughter's Art & Owls birthday party was a success!  She loved it, the guests loved it and I didn't go broke throwing it!  Yay!  

This post is going to focus on the set up of the party.  The next post will show actual party photos of the kids and the activities.  

Here is my little sweetie next to her cake.  Since she keeps getting taller but no bigger around this owl jumper I made her for preschool (2 years ago) still fits!  It was perfect for the party!

Here is the main party table.  I recycled most of the decor from previous parties.  I did buy plates, napkins, etc, but all of the hanging decorations are pieces I bought or made in years past.  Luckily for me, the girl loves pink so I have a ton of reusable decor.